Tag Archives: speed work

Week 15 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Today marked three weeks until race day. Based on how the last month of training has gone I am feeling pretty good about this training cycle. I had another solid week of training this week before I start to taper.

My plan for this week was for another solid week in terms of mileage and I managed to accomplish that despite the fact I ended up having to drop my Tuesday night threshold run.

On Monday night I started off the week with an encounter that was a first for me…

On Wednesday my run ended up being cut short due to something we do not deal with often here. The remnants of Hurricane Patricia passed through brining strong winds and a lot of rain.

After non-stop rain for most of the day the was a brief pause late in the day and I thought it would give me the opportunity to run home. However, the heavy rain started not long after I left work and I found myself running into strong winds and being pelted with rain. It was not a pleasant experience and I ended up taking the shortest route home.

Thursday night was a much better experience as the weather was much better and I was able to fit in my speed work. The schedule for this week called for a 3.2 km warm up, 6 x 200m hard/200m easy, 7 km @ 4:30/km, 3:00 easy, 6 x 200m hard/200m easy, 3 km cool down.

Today I ended the week with a different workout. When I reviewed The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition by Matt Fitzgerald back in July I said that one of the ideas in the book that caught my attention was running a 26.2 km race simulator. I tried that workout today with 26.2 km done in 1:53. I’ll know if a few weeks if it was useful but it felt good to doing the run today.

Next week will be my last week of full training before I cut back on my mileage and taper for race day. So far my training cycle has gone really well so my primary focus now is to stay healthy.

How did your week go?

Week 14 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Race day is now less than one month away. My plan for this week was to continue my progress and put in another big week of training. I managed to finish the week with 104 km done. That makes three consecutive weeks of at least 100 km. For me that is a first and certainly a positive as I get closer to taper time.

I managed to average over 10 km per run again this week with my shortest one being a 10.2 km effort. Once again my threshold and speed workouts were by biggest efforts during the week.

Tuesday night’s threshold effort involved a 3.2 km warm up, 6.4 km at 4:25/km, an easy 5:00, 10 x 100m hard/0.30 easy and a 3 km cool down. I managed to plot out my route for this run properly as I arrived at the highschool close to my house in time to do my 100m sprints on the track…

With my wife being out of town Thursday I had to push my speed workout back to Friday night. This week my workout ivolved a 32 km warm up followed by 6 x 200m hard/200m easy, 6.4 km @ 4:30/km, an easy 1:30, 6 x 200m hard/200m easy followed by a ool down of just over 3 km for a total of just over 18 km done.

Unfortunately I was not able to make use of a track for my 200m sprints when I did this workout. Like I often do I ended up running it on a bike path on my way home from work with my backpack on. Fortunately it is still pretty warm here during the day and I am not having to load much in my backack so I did not really feel it.

This morning I ended off the week with my longest run with one of the kids in the Chariot. I ended up doing 35 km with my 2 year old along for the ride.

I know have 4 more weeks of running before race day. My plan is for two more weeks of solid mileage before I do a 2 week taper leading up to race day.

How did your week go?

Week 13 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

Coming off my biggest week of training my plan for week 13 was a similar one in that I was aiming to surpass 100 km for the week once again. My schedule of runs for the week was very similar to what I did in week 12. I ended up with 106 km done in week 13.

Once again longer tempo and speed workouts on Tuesday and Thursday were key in helping me fit in my scheduled mileage for the week. On Tuesday evening I ended up running for 1 hour at my tempo pace following an easy warm up. My total mileage was 19 km.

Thursday night’s speed workout was a tougher one, in part because it rained most of the time I was running. This time my workout involved 200m repeats. After an easy warm up I completed 6 x 200m/200m easy, 3.2 km @ 4:51/km, another 6 sets of 200m repeats and ended with an easy cool down for a total of 21 km done.

Yesterday I took my 2 year old out with me in the Chariot for my long run. We ended up doing 31 km…

Week 14 will follow a similar pattern before I start to drop my mileage with race day only just over a month away now. That means I will do one more 30 km run this weekend. 

How was your week?

Week 12 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

This week ended up being the big week of training I was looking for. After my long run this morning I ended up with 118 km for the week. I’ve made it over 100 km in a week on several occasions in the past but I think this is the most mileage that I’ve fit into a week of training. 

Hitting this total for mileage meant added mileage to each of my runs. For my easy runs that was not too difficult since I was just adding 1-2 km to each. It was my tempo run on Tuesday and my speed work on Thursday where I had to add the most mileage. 

My schedule for Tuesday called for a tempo run consisting of a 3.2 km warm up, followed by 3 x 3.2 km @ tempo pace and an easy 2:00. I ended the run with a 3 km cool down for a total of just over 17 km done. In order to fit in the run I was up early and out the door at 5:00.

Thursday called for even mileage with 22-23 km on the schedule. Fortunately I as able to fit this one in after work instead of getting up at the crack of dawn. My workout consisted of a 3.2 km warm up followed by 3 x 1200m @ 4:13/km and 1:30 easy. 40:00 @ 5:00/km, 3 x 1200m @ 4:13/km and 1:30 easy. I ended the workout with a 3 km cool down to give me a 22 km run.

I ended the week with a 32 km run. While my oldest was at swimming lessons with her mother I took my 2 year old in the Chariot…

With 6 more weeks to go until race day it means I still have 3 big weeks of mileage coming up. My schedule has me doing 2 more 30 km runs and I will be aiming for two more 100 km weeks before I start my taper.

How was your week?

Week 11 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


This week was a mixed bag in terms of training for me. On the positive side I had a solid tempo run and a solid speed session where I pushed the pace. On the negative side I had to drop my long run.

I’ll start my post by talking about the positives. Tuesday was my birthday and even though it was raining out I decided it was a good night to push the pace a bit. My schedule called for an 11-12 km run so I opted for a tempo run at that pace. I finished with a 12 km run in 51 minutes, a 4:17/km pace. It was a nice way to celebrate my birthday.

Since I was not able to fit it in Thursday night I ended up doing my speed session at the track yesterday. This time my schedule called for a 3.2 km warm up followed by 3 x 300m, 1:30 easy, 3:00 easy then another 3 x 300m, 1:30 easy. Despite the fact that it was windy out I felt like I pushed hard on the 300m and that made for a good workout.

The down side of this week was that I had to skip my long run planned for today. This is kind of a silly issue I have. If someone else were to ask me for advice I would tell them that missing one run wasn’t going to hurt their training.

However, when it comes to my training schedule I don’t like missing a scheduled run. I’ll be over it by tomorrow when I start a new week on my schedule but this was not the way I was looking to end the week.

Next week will see me aiming for even more mileage with my schedule calling for a 100 km week. If I manage to hit that target it will be the second time in this cycle that I have reached it.

How was your week?

Week 10 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Last week I started building up my mileage again after taking a recovery week the week before. I managed to finish with a total of just 70 km for the week which is about what I was aiming for before I build up to a few weeks of 90-100 km weekly mileage.

Since I was coming off the Army Run when I paced the 1:35 half-marathon group I stuck to easy paced runs last week with the exception of speed work on Thursday.

The best part about the week is that the weather was perfect for each of my runs. This was the scene on Wednesday as I ran home along the Rideau Canal…

Great evening for a run home from work. 10 km done #running #Run613 #ottawa #marathontraining

A post shared by Patrick Girard (@pat42.2) on

I followed that up with speed work involving 200m repeats the following evening. My workout involved a 3 km warm up followed by 4 x 200m hard / 200m easy, 10:00 @ 4:35/km, 1:30 at a very easy pace followed by another round of 200 m repeats.

I ended the week by taking my two year old for a run in the Chariot yesterday. We ended up completing 20 km and stopped to see the horses of the RCMP Musical Ride…

With week 10 out of the way there are now 8 weeks to go before the Philadelphia Marathon. In terms of my training that means a few more 30-35 km runs to go and 5 more weeks of heavy mileage.

How was your week?

Week 8 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon


Following last week’s 90 km effort my goal for this week was to hit 100 km this week. I was aiming for another solid week before taking a recovery week next week. My longer run this morning pushed me up to just over 100 km for the week. I am pleased to have hit that milestone. It is probably the earliest I have hit the century mark during a training cycle for a marathon.

This week’s training a similar pattern to last week with the exception of the fact that I added two multiple run days this week. After taking a rest day on Monday I kicked off the week with an 11 km run that involved 9 km at my tempo pace.

My second key workout this week was my speed workout on Thursday. I had already completed an easy 7 km at lunch before my speed workout later in the day. This week’s workout involved 8 x 400 m hard, 1:30 easy. With my warm up and cool down added in I ended up with a 12 km run.

Last week you will recall that I completed my long run on one of the hottest days of the year. Today was the opposite with cool and rainy weather…

As mentioned already my plan for next week is to take a bit of a recovery week. Part of the reason for that is that I will be pacing a half-maratho next Sunday. here is where you will find me a week from today…

One week until @canadaarmyrun I will be a 1:35 pacer in the half #Run613 #ottawa #armyrun

A post shared by Patrick Girard (@pat42.2) on

How was your week?

Week 7 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

This week my plan was to build on my mileage from last week and aim for a 90 km week. I fell short of that target by 1 km but I still consider it to have been a successful week of training. The fact that I managed to fit in 36 km over two runs while away from home was another positive.

Once again this week I decided to pick up the pace and push harder for two of my runs. First up was a 9 km run on Tuesday with the first 8 km being at a tempo pace. My schedule still had me down for an easy run on Tuesday but I feel better about my week of training when I have a couple of fast paced runs. This is the second week in a row that I have run a tempo run on Tuesday and speed work on Thursday and I prefer that routine to an extra easy run.

Thursday was time for my weekly speed work session. This week’s workout involved 1200m repeats. My workout ended up being 3 x 1200m @ 4:02/km followed by an easy 1:00. With my warm up and my cool down added in I ended up with a total of 11 km done.

I mentioned that I managed to fit in a couple of runs this week while being away from home and here is how that went. I ended up with two runs along the shores of Lake Ontario yesterday and today. First up was an early morning 12 km in Cobourg while my family was asleep in our hotel room…

Next was my long run this morning in Toronto. Fortunately I had a running friend who offered to run with me this morning. I run most of my mileage on my own and it is always nice to have the opportunity to run with someone else. I am not sure how hot it got this morning but it may have been the hottest day of the year so far and it was already pretty warm when we headed out at 8:30. Here is a shot of the Toronto skyline when we turned around to head back into the city…


Once that was done I got to sit back and relax with a beer while watching the Blue Jays and Orioles game this afternoon…


How was your week?

Week 6 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

After a 70 km week last week my plan for this week was to add to that total and hit 80 km for the week. I managed to reach that target with my long run this morning. That mileage put me over 300 km this month, my biggest total since April. Now my new goal will be to get up to 90 km for next week. 

My schedule this past week was different than usual since most of my runs were done at night because I had the week off work. Normally I would prefer early morning or late afternoon runs following work but running at night after the kids had gone to bed worked out best this week. Running at night wasn’t that bad though…

In terms of workouts this week I ended  doing a tempo run Tuesday and a speed workout Thursday. My schedule called for an easy run Tuesday but I felt good once I got going so I decided to push the pace and ended up with 12 km done at a tempo pace. 

My speed workout on Thursday involved 200m repeats. I ended up doing a 3.2 km warm up followed by 4 x 200m hard, 200m easy, 10:00 @ slightly slower than my marathon pace followed by another 4 x 200m hard, 200m easy. That was good enough for a total of 13 km.

This morning I headed out early to do my long run. On the schedule for today was a 22 km run. Along the way I ran by TD Place stadium where I would be headed later in the day for some CFL football action..

How was your week?

Week 5 of Training for the Philadelphia Marathon

Another week of training is complete. This week was a regular week following a recovery week last week. Following today’s long run I finished the week with a total of 71 km. my goal for the upcoming week will be to add to that mileage once again. 

Once again I stuck to relatively easy runs from Monday to Wednesday. Each of those runs was a 9 km run home from work. 

Thursday I had to postpone my run due to the weather. I ended up making for that with two runs on Friday including my planned speed workout. The day started with an easy run across the experimental farm at lunch. Running twice in a day has often been my way of increasing my mileage up to 80-100 km in a week.

I followed that up with my speed workout on the way home from work. This week’s workout involved 1600m repeats. Following a 3.2 km warm up I ended up doing 1600m @ 4:03/km, 1600m @ 4:38/km, 1600 @ 4:03/km and a final 1600m @ 4:38/km. With a cool down of 2.4 km the workout ended up being a 12 km run. 

This week my long run was another 25 km run done this afternoon. While it was still a bit on the warm side it was an otherwise great afternoon for a long run…

That was my week in running. I also manage to fit in my strength training workout twice this week as per my plan. The upcoming week will involve more of the same with the addition of extra mileage to get me up to 80 km for the week.

How did your week go?